Posted: 1 month ago

15s into Graham Cup Semis

North Down Under 15s hosted Instonians at The Green last night in the quarter-final of the prestigious Graham Cup and a bumper crowd was treated to a thrilling encounter.

The boys went into the game confident of causing an upset against a strong Instonians side, and get the positive vibes back at The Green after a tricky weekend…

Skipper Alex Fielding won the toss and chose to have a bowl. The lively opening pair of Jaxon Dines and Josh Parker bowled with pace and accuracy, claiming a wicket-a-piece in the first two overs. Jaxon in particular troubled the Inst batsmen with some quality seam bowling. He made it three down catching the Inst skipper stone-cold in front and another from Josh made it four. There was no let-up as a bowling change brought Luke Crothers his first victim in his first over. Inst were reeling on 18 for 5 and needed to rebuild.

The boys kept up the intensity and 15 runs later Luke claimed his second, clean bowled. The Inst number six went on the counter-attack, taking on the spin duo of Joel Parker and Ben Ewart. His partners came and went as some good death bowling from Alex Fielding and Daniel Johnston restricted the Inst side to 92-9. Inst number 6 Aryan Dophoide batted superbly under pressure to keep his side in the game.

It was never going to be a straight-forward chase and a tactical move brought Ben Ewart in to partner Josh Montgomery. A solid start nullified the Inst attack before Josh was adjudged leg before with 21 on the board. Callum Wilson at three started cautiously and the new pairing rotated strike well until Ben became the next wicket down with 34 on the board in the ninth. Luke Crothers didn’t trouble the scorers and at 34 for 3 after 9, the game was in the balance.

Josh Parker started tentatively as the pressure mounted and Callum tried to gather momentum before holing out to mid-off. Josh dug in as Jaxon entered the fray with the balance slightly in Inst’s favour as boundaries were hard to find. The pair got down to the simple equation of 11 required from the last.

The first four balls yielded 5 runs, leaving 6 needed from 2. Jaxon Dines opened his hips and slapped one to the deep mid-wicket boundary to the rapturous applause/cheers from the large support. 2 needed from the last and Jaxon sliced one over the covers, coming back for the winning run to spark the player pitch invasion.

A cracking game of cricket that ebbed and flowed but the boys thoroughly deserved the win with a superb display in the field. Frazer Mitchell did a tremendous job behind the stumps.

Amazing what a bit of belief can do in what was a true team contribution.

Thanks to Instonians for the game and we look forward to the challenge of Donacloney Mill in the semi-final.

Instonians CC 92-9 (A Dophoide 49*, J Dines 2-8, Josh Parker 2-13, L Crothers 2-10)

NDCC 93-4 (B Ewart 18, C Wilson 20, J Parker 24*, D Agnew 3-8)

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